Thursday, October 29, 2015

Overnight Accommodations

The Hotel Plakaford, in Victoria Harbor

As you travel around New Island, you'll find a variety of comfortable lodgings, but they are quite different than, say, the Hyatt or Marriott. 

In Putney, Victoria Harbor and a few other large towns, you can find hotels that appear out of the 1930s or '40s - up to four stories tall, with thirty to forty rooms, a small restaurant and bar, a check-in desk with pigeonholes for the keys, and sometimes a swimming pool. More common here and in the smaller towns are the many rooming houses, usually in the older neighborhoods near downtown. These have two to six rooms to let, and usually include supper and breakfast. They are run by the families that live in the houses, most likely.

For example, on Victoria Harbor's Garden Island, the Lee Villa on Coldwater Lane seems most promising. The six-stool bar adjoines a cozy dining room, and a tiny elevator carries you to your room as high as the fourth, and top, floor. The Plakaford Hotel, around the corner, has a lovely outdoor dining area. At both places the fish-and-chips with a bottle of Runcorn white wine are a good combination. (Runcorn has the memorable dancing maiden on the label.)

In the back-country, accommodations vary greatly. The tribe settlements almost always have a room or two to let, and include breakfast in the common dining room. Rates are negotiable, and often include work-trade arrangements. Along the Path System, settlements and tribes provide indoor lodgings or outdoor campsites, all with kitchens available and some with meals included. These travelers' inns almost always have a common room for walkers and wanderers to meet and visit one another. Along the northeastern coast, the Japanese villages accommodate travelers in traditional inns, unchanged from 18th Century Japan. The elegant wood-and-tatami rooms have no furniture except a small table placed beside the futon on the floor. Meals are served in the room, and guests are welcome to use the communal furo bath.  

If you are walking, you will find some kind of lodging every 8 to 15 miles along the paths and back roads, except in the Sheffield Desert - so you don't have to pack a lot of gear. Being adaptable is the key here.

Happy travels!

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